Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Sonoma Valley, Sonoma Mountain Road renovation / addition:
The original architects of this house (who shall remain nameless) are not known for individualizing designs, but rather using a kit of parts and assembling them per the client’s wishes. While a great business model, this really compromises the overall integrity of the design and the site is rarely taken into consideration.  Built on a sloped site, this means expansive (read: unusable) crawlspaces and a dwelling that looks misplaced.  Perched up in the hills, this residence suffers from the cantilever effect.While we love our views, what is one to do with these derrières of our home, 20 feet off the ground?  We’re addressing that by designing a wall that will close off the space underneath the new expansive deck. That wall will be featuring Parasoleil’s  decorative metal panels interspersed with wood columns and will be resting on stone-clad foundation walls. 

 They will ground the whole assembly by connecting it with the earth in a beautiful and committed way, but ohh, will we miss acres of the ever lovely lattice-work... This renovation will orient itself around the new beautiful deck space, really creating the indoor outdoor living space the client desires.  By changing out poorly placed and economy doors and windows, we are able to refocus on the beautiful views of Sonoma Valley. We are also adding guest quarters room in the expansive crawlspace below the house.
By adding stucco over the existing siding, a metal roof and most significantly the live able deck space around grandpa Oak, the overall character and level of sophistication of the residence will change considerably.  These changes will transform what is now pretty much a run-of-the-mill ranch-style (one design fits all!) home into a substantial Sonoma-style residence with expansive, multi-tiered decks, sweeping views and almost transparent (as in don’t block the view) cable-rails. This project is slated to start construction in early summer.
Los Angles Hills, addition:
We are also designing an addition for a residence in Los Angeles.  This project is challenging because of its site constrictions. We are adding a master-suite with a master bedroom, a master bath and a walk-in closet. Especially challenging was making the addition feel spacious and fun while working with a very narrow layout dictated by the site.  We added jogs, windows at the end of hallway, some extra space and large pocket-doors to be able to keep the space flowing when privacy is not needed, while being able to spaces up when it is needed.  It is fun to have project down there, and thanks to the direct connection from our Sonoma airport it’s a breeze to zip down there and back up and still be home for dinner, all in one day!
Healdsburg, renovation / rebuild:
While it is always a joy to reconnect with our old clients, and a wonderful confirmation on the work we do… we so wish this project were under different circumstances.  Their home recently suffered a 60% loss due to a house fire. This Healdsburg site, is on a beautiful hill-side overlooking a large pond, and surrounded by lots of large old trees. We are placing lots of glass to frame the best views and take advantage of the sun angles. We have also incorporated a two sided fireplace to help articulate the now larger living room and dining room.  The original space’s usefulness was compromised by several angular walls and their proximities. We are enjoying tweaking that space to transform it from an auxiliary space into what will be a main living (and dining) room, taking full advantage of the best attributes of the site. Jessica had helped these clients with some interior design a couple of years ago.  We hope to get them back into their home really soon with it feeling more beautiful and functional than ever.